As summer approaches, you might be eager to pack your tent, sleeping bag and swim trunks and head out into the wilderness for a weekend of camping. Doing so is an ideal way to unplug from today's busy society and get back to nature, but you could be reaching for your cellphone to call your local foot doctor if you don't take proper care of your feet while you're away. You can safely avoid having to deal with a variety of foot-related issues by being vigilant about the health of your feet. Here are some foot-smart tips to adopt during your camping trip.
Wear Water Shoes ...
Water shoes are a valuable companion any time you'll be swimming. While they can help prevent the risk of warts in places such as public swimming pools and hotel bathrooms, warts aren't typically a concern at the beach of a campground. Where the shoes come in handy, however, is in the shower area of the campground. Public showers are notoriously damp, which means that the ground can often be at risk of fungus and other bacteria. The last thing you want is for such fungi to come in contact with your feet, especially if you happen to have an open cut — for example, from scraping your foot on a rock at the beach. Fungus-related foot conditions such as athlete's foot are contagious, so you're better off wearing your water shoes in the campground's shower.
... But Don't Wear Them For Too Long
While water shoes are valuable for protecting your feet from fungus, they typically provide very little in the way of support. If you get in the habit of leaving the water shoes on for prolonged periods of time — and walking around with no support for your arches — you could develop heel or arch pain consistent with plantar fasciitis. Additionally, constantly wearing wet shoes can irritate your feet and lead to blisters.
Try To Avoid Going Barefoot
Going barefoot can feel fun, but an injury that results from not wearing shoes could land you in the podiatrist's office. The terrain in many campgrounds is unpredictable, and going barefoot means you won't have any support or stability for your feet. A simple trip can easily lead to a sprained ankle, which is something podiatrists commonly see. Opt for a pair of sturdy running shoes instead of sandals; while sandals might be convenient, a laced-up pair of shoes will provide you with the support needed to keep your feet and ankles protected when you're navigating uneven terrain.